Senator Agnew Faced by Constituents: Told Plainly His Crusade Against the Percy-Gray Law Misrepresents Their View, Daily Racing Form, 1908-02-19


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• , I SENATOR AGNEW FACED BY CONSTITUENTS. Told Plainly His Crusade Against the Percy-Gray Law Misrepresents Their View. New York. February IS. — It was my good fortune last nilit to be one of ISO persons crowded into a small political clubrnom. all brought together because of a notice sent out to the press and ■Mkers of the club, a Republican one. at that, to the effect hat a discussion on the Agnew-Hart lulls would be the chief topic of the evening. The most significant parr of this was that Senator Agnew is a member of this club — it is, in fact, the association to which he owes bis political advancement. He was by no means pleased at the candor of the members of the club in the way they handled his pet measure. It must have been an object lesson to Mr. Agnew when young Mr. Bur-dick, an associate member, stood up to Agnews face and accused him of misrepresenting his constituents in demanding the suppression of horse racing, which is the effect of his bill. Great surprise was expressed by the reporters present at this meeting at the disappointing personality of Agnew. Without desiring to be at all personal, it must be said that Mr. Agnew in several ways reminded the newspaper men of those effeminate men known as Miss Nancys. His voice was curiously lacking in strength, and under the stress of excitement it broke into what forcibly reminded us of a manikin, or talking figure used by ventrilo- Continued on second 4fe SENATOR AGNEW FACED BY CONSTITUENTS. Continued from first page. piists on the stage. I could not help reflecting on tlie strange ways of destiny that such a personality should be associated with a movement so far-reaching in its effect. This is a sure tiling — Senator Agnew went to his home last night in a very doubtful state of mind, for certainly, to judge from the temper of the club, he for one will not be returned to the senate when liis term conies around, unless he listens to his constituents. It was a meeting very cheering to the race track people to hear one after another get up and Imldly challenge the accuracy of , Senator Agnews views on the turf. He had little to say of his own views, if he has any. and he confessed his ignorance of the real status of the turf by his admission that le had never been to a race track but once. He said that he had introduced his bill after Governor Hujrhes had come out in his declaration against racing, and it struck us all that here was a plain ease of a very small man trying to get into the limelight. So many telling points were made by the advo-eates of the existing turf that it is difficult to recall all the good things said. But amongst them was n statement that Japan has in tiie past few years so greatly encouraged racing for the purpose of improving Hie breed of horses that there are now 20X tracks in operation there. Another point was made l.y a speaker whose modesty would not permit him to reveal his name. He drew down round after round of applause by the statement that he liked an occasional visit to the track, was prepare"] to pay for his sport, and if he lost his money he merely regarded it as the price to be paid for a very agret ab]e entertainment. He said he knew many others of like tastes, and not one of them had ever lost his fortune on the races, but he was sorry to say a large number had been impoverished by the pricking of the Wall street bubbles. And so the story went on. On the one hand the arguments of the faddists to interfere with a national sport were checked by the manly declarations of those who took pleasure in patronizing that sport. The meeting concluded with a rousing good indorsement of a resolution approving the Percy-Gray law as it stauds. Some hours before this meeting I had met one of the members of the Jockey Club, a close personal ; friend of Mr. W. K. Vanderbilt. the president of the Coney Island Jockey Club. This gentleman in a brief conversation let in some additional light on the difficulties encountered by the Jockey Club in seeking publicity in the up state press as to the real aims of racing. It seems that one of the most pronounced enemies of the sport, a man who has been a candidate for the highest office in the state, is the owner of a news service which supplies many of the Mii:iller papers with the late telegraphic news. This man has dictatorially ordered those who own the papers that unless tl.ey suppress all Jockey Club statements they will be cut off from his news service. Thus, iu some instances, the great question no chance to be laid before the voters of tb% state, at least through those channels. But what a revelation this must lie to those who have fatuously relied in the past on this mans published utterances. He chokes up all possible channels for free discussion and hopes to vent his hatred of one or two prominent turfmen, a feeling engendered y.hi- a.-o M-.Miisc of disappointment in polities, mid wi|M- out a noble sport. So between the two Hs. Hughes and Hearst, the fight for liberty of action jb sadiy handicapped, J. J. Burke,

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